Homemade Bone Broth
Turns out, Grandma was a pretty smart lady feeding you chicken noodle soup when you were sick!
Traditionally prepared bone broth is making a comeback ya’ll! Have you heard about the New York drive-thru “Brodo“? It’s like Starbucks, but for bone broth! I’m sure many a “East Villager” are walking around, skin all aglow, tummies warm and happy, sipping on their traditionally prepared, grass-fed broth in a to-go cup!
Often called stock or broth, this “doctor in a cup” is the cream of the crop when it comes to health and wellness. It’s also one of the best foods to consume if you think you might be suffering from Leaky Gut Syndrome or experiencing allergies, skin irritations and occasional intestinal upset.
Stocks are chalk full of nutrition, which we covered in depth in this post. But a step many people skip when making homemade broth is not adding an acidic medium before cooking. Adding something like apple cider vinegar 20-30 minutes before cooking draws minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium out of the bones, cartilage and marrow and makes them easily assimilated by our bodies. On top of that, the electrolytes are drawn out from the vegetables as they cook. Adding vinegar is a simple step with huge benefits.
The gelatin in bone broth aids in digestion, is soothing to the gut and allows the body to properly absorb and utilize the proteins, minerals and nutrients from other foods as well. We use it to cook all sorts of food for added nutrition.
As if this weren’t enough, broth is an excellent source for amino acids such as proline and glycine, two amino acids our body creates naturally when in ideal health. If, however, you’re not the epitome of health, and frequently suffer from stiff joints, skin diseases and other collagen, connective tissue and cartilage disorders, the additional amino acids from bone broth could prove extremely beneficial for joint health.
Glycine also helps normalize liver function. And we all know that the liver’s job is to cleanse and detox our body, so it could probably use some extra support! Because there are environmental toxins lurking around every corner, none of us are exempt from needing a little detox. Let’s give our liver the support it needs by adding some bone broth into our diets!
No Time to Make Broth?
You’re in luck! High quality collagen peptides or beef gelatin added to hot or cold drinks will give your gut a healthy boost (but you won’t even know it’s there!). Meanwhile, your joints, skin, hair and nails will thank you too!
It’s time to go old school and embrace the traditional, bone broth is not a fad. More like a time honored, tried and true remedy that’s come back into focus.
Homemade Bone Broth
- Bones from 1 whole pastured chicken
- 12-16 cups filtered water
- 3-4 cups veggie scraps (or 1/2 diced onion, 1-2 diced carrots and 1-2 diced celery stalks including leaves)
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 1-2 Tbs apple cider vinegar (with “the mother”)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Large 2-3 gallon stockpot
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 24-48 hours
- Total Time: 24-48 hours + 15 minutes
- Yield: approximately 1 gallon
- Add water, chicken bones (including giblets), veggie scraps (except parsley) and apple cider vinegar to a pot and let sit for 30 minutes. Do not turn the heat on, the vinegar needs to work on the bones to get the most nutrition possible into your broth!
- Bring pot to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and allow to simmer (covered) for 24-48 hours.
- The last 20 minutes of cooking, add in your parsley. As if your broth wasn’t healthy enough, parsley will add even more vitamins and immune support.
- After 24 hours, check to see if the bones crumble easily when pinched between your fingers (this is a good sign that all the minerals and marrow are now out of the bones and in your broth!). If the bones still feel firm, continue cooking for an additional 12-24 hours.
- Allow broth to cool and carefully strain through a metal sieve into your jars.
Money Saving Strategies for Making Bone Broth
- Anytime you peel a carrot, skin onions or garlic, or dice up some celery, save the peelings, skin and leaves and store them in a container in the freezer. Next time you make bone broth, add these to the pot and you’ve just flavored your broth at no extra cost!
- Buy whole pastured chickens (local/organic when possible). Whole chickens costs less per pound and you’ll also receive the organs with your bird (referred to as giblets, gizzards or offal). These organ meats will add beneficial vitamins and nutrients to your broth that your body will thank you for later.
- If you can contact the farmer butchering your birds (or, if you have an Asian market near by), you may be able to talk them out of the feet and heads (possibly for free!). It may sound strange, but these parts of the bird are full of gut healing gelatin. It all depends on whether you can get over the “ick” factor of handling chicken feet! They are a strange deal, but they get my vote of approval!
- You can start enjoying the benefits of broth immediately! Broth may be stored in the fridge safely for two weeks, or you can pressure can it to store in the pantry.
- If you would prefer, you can remove the lid the last few hours of cooking and reduce your broth down to a concentrate. Then, freeze this concentrate in ice cube trays to be added to soups, sauces and gravies as needed.
- If you notice your broth doesn’t “gel” when chilled (turn into jello), you can add in extra gelatin for extra gut healing support.
- We use bone broth weekly in soups, stews and sauces. And we also cook our rice, pasta and some veggies in broth (instead of water) for added nutrition. If you’re feeling sick or run down, warm up some broth and sip on it throughout the day, it really is a doctor in a cup!
- If you want the amazing benefits of bone broth, but just don’t have the time to make it, there are some great options for you! Skip that broth-flavored-water at the grocery store, and check out a company like Kettle & Fire! They’re making batches of bone broth the way grandma used to, and they’ll ship directly to your doorstep!